Remembering Rue McClanahan, TV’s First ‘Cougar’

The World

Long before the we were exposed to the sexcapades of Samantha Jones, the world had Blanche Devereaux. For seven much-loved seasons on the iconic sitcom “The Golden Girls,” Blanche lead Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia on their own sexual revolution, proving that like a fine wine, a woman gets better with age. The sultry Southern belle was given life by actress Rue McClanahan, who died yesterday of a stroke at age 76.

McClanahan was a veteran of the stage and small screen before she created Blanche, and she went on to win an Emmy for the role. TV blogger Delaina Dixon thinks Blanche was one of the first television portrayals of an older woman in touch with her sexuality, setting a precedent for a number of shows that would follow, most obviously “Sex and the City.” Delaina joins The Takeaway to remember the woman who played what very well may have been television’s first “cougar.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.